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Rediff Q1 India Online Revenues Up 42 Percent At $6.56 Million; $5 Million Ad Revenue; $0.77 Million Profit

View the Financials and Release.

Nasdaq listed Rediff.com has reported revenues of $8.32 million for the quarter ended June 30th 2008, up from $6.8 million for Q1 last year. India Online revenues (from Rediff.com) are healthy – they grew 42 percent to $6.56 million, up from $4.62 million in Q1 2007. US Publishing revenues (India Abroad), year on year, have declined 19 percent to $1.76 million.

What’s worrying is that the quarter saw a significant year-on-year decline of 64 percent in profit – to $0.77 million from $2.12 million for the same quarter last year. Year-on-year, profitability has been on the decline for the company for four quarters now.

Update: During the earnings call, Rediff CFO Joy Basu said that the net income for the year ago quarter included a sum of $1.89 million on account of sale of equity shares in an external company. So it isn’t as bad a comparison as it appears.

Operating expenses (including stock based compensation) for the company increased from $4.68 million to $5.54 Million. Operating EBITDA increased from $0.61 Million to $1.10 Million.

In terms of products, Rediff introduced multiple search related initiatives – which we’ve covered here – including a search for tickets and schedules for 20,000 busines covering 10,000 locations, a train search, and enabled search for High school exam results for 70 different exam boards. The video search covers over 2 million videos. Readers will remember that Rediff announced the opening up of its API recently, which we had covered here. During the quarter, they also invested in a micro-blogging company Vakow.

More on advertising revenues –

Update: The number of advertisers hasn’t increased much, quarter on quarter – up to 257 from 250 for the last quarter. Of the $6.56 Million India Online revenues, $5 million is advertising revenue – around 75 percent of the total. It’s grown year-on-year by 58 percent.

What’s interesting is that the headcount at Rediff has actually declined – down to 338 from 349 for the last quarter.

Notes from the Earnings Conference Call:

Is MoneyWiz The Leader In Online Finance?
Rediff claims that their finance channel MoneyWiz is the leader in the finance category, compared to online finance services and many finance newspapers and magazines. This puts us in a strong position to capture ad revenue in the upcoming quarters. They’re claiming 2 million unique users, according to internal logs. Chairman Ajit Balakrishnan also claimed that iShare today has more Bollywood music and video than any other single channel.

On Investments And Acquisitions
“My personal philosophy is that we’re starting to see interesting acquisition options in India, which we did not see till last year. These tend to be small companies with very interesting services and technology, many of them founded around IIT Bombay and IISc Bangalore”

On Share Buyback
“I’m not a great fan of debt as a method of boosting your stock price. We can get growth in a market that is growing 26 percent year-on-year in user base, and when the world is pessimistically looking out, there is a great demand of consumer spending going on here.”

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